Sunday, February 28, 2010

Little down and out

For some reason I've been waking up really early, even after going to bed really late. After 3-4 hours of sleep, I wake up wide awake. Usually this is a sign of being in the throws of mania and I'm not there. I'm feeling like I'm on the fence of crossing over to the high side, but haven't made the jump. So this seems a bit unusual and really out of context. For the last three weeks, all I've wanted to do is sleep and sleep and sleep. I couldn't get to bed soon enough and now when I finally do fall asleep, I'm bouncing right back out of bed, then to dozing on and off for the rest of the morning. It's really very strange to not be on a mania and waking up so early wide awake. I'm struggling through the day enough as it is not to be getting a good nights rest. Maybe things have shifted and now my depression means more difficulty sleeping. It is very different for me.

Another strange thing I have been discovering is that my illness is triggered by situations. Like no matter how awful by day has been, everything is fine when I know my husband is on his way home. Which also works in reverse, so when he leaves I crash. This is just one example of many and which has been confirmed by the doctor. It hasn't always been like this, but I believe the medication helps keep my moods more balanced and controlled, but that my emotions will set off my manias and depressions in an instant. But depending on my mood and where it is at, the same two events will trigger off a different reaction because of the mania or depression in combination with my emotions. I roller coaster immensely through a day if my emotions are out of whack. Medication only curbs the extreme highs and lows, the rest I have had to cope with and find ways to manage and stabilize myself. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, nothing works and other times the thing you wouldn't think would make a difference is the one that works; and then for reasons unknown, the same thing in the same situation will not work. Baffling, mind-blowing, powerful, how the brain works with this illness, as I continue on this wrenching journey, and the understanding of it all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Somewhere inside

Somewhere inside,I have to grab the fight within me, and hang on to it. I actually set a goal for today, and after my workout with Tae-bo (great way to get the fight back), I reassessed that goal, to work within a practical range. Something I'm not accustomed to. Usually it is all or nothing. Everything or forget it. My original goal was to walk my five dogs that were home with me today. (My husband took one to work with him) I wrestle with the idea for most of the morning, then in order to banish the constant chatter I decided I needed to do something for me first. That was exercise. After I was able to make a calm and rational decision that I could accomplish. Daddy dog and mommy dog had been walked yesterday, so this left the 3 kids and I could handle that.

This thinking is so out of context for me, I was surprised I was able to pull it off. I make these goals everyday about walking the dogs and being able to do it. Sounds like a small, easy problem, eh? Just walk the dogs. Well, here's the problem I always run into, my churning thoughts, trapping me into oblivion, that I am unable to escape from. Worry, anxiety, fears, bubble up from my gut, and spin like several tornadoes in my brain. Where to start, who to start with, what time to go, I don't feel like doing it, it's cold out, I don't want to venture out in the world. Sounds like whining, doesn't it? But when I'm in the pit of depression, which is the phase I'm facing, it dredges up like black, molten monster, roaring in my ears, threatening my life and making me want to curl and die, fleeing this hateful world and my ugly truths. This monster pounds into my head over and over how worthless I am, what a horrible "mother" I am to my animals, and asking me why I have decided to continue living. Coupled with that, it sucks all the energy out of me, the hope, my soul it feels like, and I believe it. I have believe that monster everyday of my life, battling it everyday. Some days I just don't have the fight in me. Then there are days like today when I was able to pound that monster to the ground and come out victorious. I feel like I conquered the world today. I feel pretty proud of myself, which is a rare and glorious thing when I'm in the bounds of depression. Maybe, just maybe I'm on the upswing. One can only hope.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sadness deepens, affects medication

When the depression becomes too much, I tend to forget my meds. It is a cycle I've noticed over the last eight years. It starts out as a subconscious decision and leads into a conscious one, vying for that high. Anything to help me out of this black hole. The past six months, I have been vigilant about taking my medication, only missing a dose here and there, maybe once a month. This is the longest I have ever succeeded with any consistency. These past three weeks of depression have taken their toll on me as I'm slipping once again with my meds. My thoughts have locked me in a tight box and I feel crushed by the confinement. Trapped with no way out and I have begun the process to release the binds by subconsciously forgetting one too many meds, in order to save my mind. I am now aware and there is part of me, that wants to give in and give up. To just keep going so I can force that high that I know is coming. It seems to be taking everything I have to remember to take my meds. Though when I realize I've forgotten, there is a small thrill like an addict getting their fix. And so I struggle again with the reality of this disease and playing my own Russian roulette. For I know that the mania will only be fun for a few days, before being on the backside of irritability, restlessness, and feeling wired to the point I won't be able to stand myself. The happiness will elude to the ugly. And then there is nowhere but down. Down, down, down.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Raw Nerves

After two wonderful days with my husband, today I woke up wanting to cry. Tears running down my face as I had my smoke and oj. The sadness laying like a wet blanket. Pulling myself together, we ran some errands in town and somewhere in the course of the trip the grating began. That high level of agitation and irritation that comes with manic depression, seemingly out of nowhere. Doesn't seem to matter what is said or by who. The interpreter in my mind is rubbed raw by the sound. My nerves were beginning to outstretch towards my epidermal. The ends frayed apart as they touched the underside of my skin. Pulsing, retched, ALIVE. The agitation began to build as the aggravation began to heave through my body. Every innocent word he said, grated,on those frail nerves and all I wanted to do was FIGHT, BITE, SCREAM, BLEED, KICK, CLAW, FIGHT, when a ring of fire shot up around me. I DARE ANYONE, ANYONE, TO TRY AND ENTER. I DARE THEM! And as I kicked and fought, no one took on my dare and I was only fighting myself. My husband wouldn't take the bait. Everything was contorted in my mind. My ring of protection wasn't working. He dosed the flames. I lay there feeling the nerves shrink back into position. My breath came back, the electrical storm in my mind begans to calm and slowly I gather myself together. I wanted the fight, my mind and body were charged for the fight and in one simple move, it was all discharged. He swiftly pulled the plug, by saying "let's not go there." And it was over. I even try to recharge my brain, the circuits were dead. As I came to grips with what had happened, I felt empowered by the help my husband gave me. Time after time he has been in tune with me and has helped me through every phase of this illness. He has given me strength when I thought I had none and he has plunged into my brain and disorder and walked me out of it. He has been through ever facet of my recovery and has never once thought of himself. He has ridden the amazing highs and the debilitating lows again and again in order to understand me and in order to help me. For I am truly grateful. Truly, truly grateful. I would not be here if it weren't for him. Thank you, honey.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rescued by the Moon

Today it was sunny. A bright sun shiny day that made me want to hide in the closet. Every move was an effort as it was and now it felt like the sun was burning a hole in my brain. It felt like it magnified my open wounds, torturing me, until all I could do was lay down to survive. When I awoke it was evening, the last hints of the sunset fading away. The pressure had been release, the relenting pain of depression had succumbed to peace. I went outside with the dogs to play, the black velvety night with the stars dotted above comforted me. Then I saw the crescent moon, hanging ever so slightly to the west and I began to breathe again. I cried in relief as this quiet peace began to wash over me. I could feel myself slip back into my mind and body as the cool air wrapped around me. I became grounded in myself. Sometimes the moon is my friend and sometimes it is not, but tonight it was. Like an old friend I could count on and believe in and tonight it didn't let me down when I needed it most. An unexpected gift tonight as the moon in it's evening sky soothed the torturous burns of the sun. With manic depression, pain comes in all different forms, from different elements, so does the relief. To each his own.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Accept it...it's depression

For almost the last three weeks, I have been pushing through depression. This last week has been the most difficult. I have been clawing and fighting with all my might, anything not to surrender. Anything to not be swallowed up by that black hole, again. I grasp for anything to keep pressing through. Music, TV, the dogs, reading, writing, all to no avail. The battle has made me weary and the slippery slope has sucked me in. Songs I considered sad and depressing play like a mantra in my head and reality sinks in. I am here. The last of my fight oozes out of my pores, puddling beneath me as my body buckles on the cold, hard ground of truth. I am really here. Acceptance. Depression. No more questions. No more lies. Despite all I do, I am still manic depressive. Curled in my hole, no more struggles, the bleakness envelopes me and my brain is numb. Frozen are my thoughts, as the black seeps in like a dense fog infiltrating my mind. No more fight today. Maybe not even tomorrow. Acceptance. I am here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sinking in Exhaustion

Bipolar disorder gives everything I do and feel a different extreme. For example: Today I had a physically active day, especially after sledding 2 dogs together, for there are parts through the ride that I must run with them instead of actually riding the sled because they are still in training. I came home after that (along with having playtime with dogs and exercising) and I was exhausted. After all this activity, I should feel great with all of my accomplishments, a tired but good feeling. With manic depression I feel crushed, physically and mentally. I feel like the weight of the world has fallen on my head and I can't get out from under it. It is very debilitating.

It took everything I had to exercise this morning, to actually do it, and I did feel great after. Then I had to summon all my energy to play with the dogs. I also felt great after that, though I could feel the balance start to shift. Dog sledding can be a very physical event, even if your dogs are trained and you can ride on the sled the whole time, which mine are not. I ran almost half of the way back. The scale broke. It was so traumatic on my body and mind that I could hardly move for 2 hours after. My brain feels like it is in vice and my thoughts are flatten. Limply they lay as if there has been a massacre. Sleep evades me and will do no good and I am stuck in shock, poking at each thought with a stick, praying this isn't the end of them. Or of me. My body is heavy from my lifeless thoughts as I try to find the courage to continue on. But with what? What do I really have from here? All I want is to curl into a ball and spiral into oblivion. Isn't that where this is all headed anyways? For how many times have I been here? How many more times will I go? Frozen in this blackness, I hold on tight as the fear begins to surround me. How long will this last? What happened to yesterday? What is wrong with me? What is so wrong with me?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hello!

Obviously I am new around here. I'm still learning the ropes, so please bare with me.

Today was an unusual day in the world of my brain. It was a balanced day. My mind stayed even. Very odd experience for a person with my nature. There is always at least one spike or drop throughout the day. Very odd, but very pleasing. Peaceful. I have almost forgot a day like this could exist. My mind is very quiet, even at this moment now that the entire day has played out. Usually there is some part of my brain that is twisting and turning, like a girl constantly twirling her hair. Some nerve that is unsettled, needing to be heard and recognized. Demanding and tormenting me for my attention, and yet today it needed nothing. There were no demands, there was no torture, all was still and at peace. The flowed with a grace and love, like sailing with a gentle current to guide you. Total bliss. So wonderful. It has been a long time since I've been here and so I plan to just ride with this current until I hit the shore and begin the day again.